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Sleep, Death’s Twin Brother: A Quest for Postmodern Identities in The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World

Julkaisun tekijät: Mehdi Ghasemi

Kustantaja: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Paikka: Denmark

Julkaisuvuosi: 2015

Journal: Orbis Litterarum

Lehden akronyymi: Orbis

Volyymi: 70

Julkaisunumero: 2

Sivujen määrä: 25

ISSN: 0105-7510

eISSN: 1600-0730



In this essay, I approach The Death of the Last Black Man from the perspective of postmodern drama so as to explore a number of key preoccupations of postmodern aesthetics which contribute to the creation of indeterminacy in this play. I then argue how the creation of indeterminacy enables Parks to create an indeterminate representation of time and history and exercise the African Americans’ resistance against the hierarchies of power. In addition, I argue that the use of postmodern aesthetics helps the playwright to create a postmortem state so as to proffer alternative perspectives, which can resist and eventually break the monophony and monopoly of the dominant discourse. I finally show how the employment of the theories of postmodern drama helps Parks to represent a typical image of a media-saturated society and to direct and throw her energies into undermining a number of dominant metanarratives, ill-propaganda and negative stereotypes, which have been created by media and have afflicted African Americans in their personal and social lives. To this end, I divide the essay into three sections: indeterminacy and the plurality of interpretation, postmortem and magical realism, and media and metanarrative, and in each section, I investigate the forms and functions in which postmodernism has been utilized by Suzan-Lori Parks to voice the concerns of African Americans and reconstruct identity for them. It is worth noting that the focus of my analysis is on the terrains which reflect the playwright’s quest for identity for African Americans.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 09:04